Why We Dont Train Our Dogs 5 Of The Best Excuses

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Why We Dont Train Our Dogs 5 Of The Best Excuses

by Justin Davies

There are almost as many dog-training excuses as there are dog owners. Here are five of my particular favourites - not because they justify not training a dog, but because they show how poorly people understand dog training, and dog training methods.

1) I don't want to break my dog's spirit.

Many people cite examples of listless dogs or dogs that won't do anything unless told. In 20 years of handling dogs, I don't think I've ever met any of these mythical dogs ? except where the dog has no stimulation at all, he will always be excited and pleased to be rewarded for doing what he's told. This does not make a dog listless or unhappy ? it gives him purpose and rewards thinking! Beating a dog will break his spirit and make him afraid of doing wrong, but this is not training. Beating does not teach him obedience, it just teaches him fear. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the dog cowering at the end of his lead as his owner shouts at him has been 'trained'. Far from it. He has possibly been abused.

2) She's such lovely dog: I wouldn't change her for the world!

Lovely dogs are lovely despite not being trained, rather than because they're not trained. Exceptionally lucky owners may have a lovely dog who doesn't bark much, who avoid people who are afraid of them, who never chew things, and may not even pull at the lead. But dogs are pack animals, and need rules to live by, and a leader to look up to. Training will not change your lovely dog's personality, but will help her to understand life, make her more content and an even better companion. Actually, most people who wouldn't change anything put up with a lot of inconvenience to 'keep their dog's personality'.

3) I don't have time to train him.

Why do we have dogs? A dog is a living, breathing, thinking being that needs stimulation, play, exercise and companionship. All of these needs can be answered through training, which strengthens the bond between us and our animals, giving us both what we need. Better still, the very activities that make our dogs the perfect pets are the best activities to use to train him. If you spend time with your dog, you have time to train him. If you don't spend time with your dog, maybe it's time to consider whether a dog is the best pet for you.

4) He's only a puppy ? I'll train him when he's older.

No, no, no, no! Would you wait for a child to go to school before teaching them to speak, or before potty training them? Dog training isn't a chore for the puppy! Dog training is fun and fulfilling, and the training gives your puppy something to occupy their mind. Pet your puppy when she comes to you; make a fuss of her and give her titbits when she brings you a slipper, or a piece of paper off the floor! The more enthusiastic you are when she sits, the more she'll love to sit for you. The more she loves coming to you for praise, the more likely she is to leave Mrs Smith's cat alone when you call her. Train her now, or you may be paying for it for the rest of her life.

5) He's well behaved anyway

The dog is a pack animal. A pack has a leader and followers of various importance. If you don't take the responsibility of leadership, your dog may may feel he has to. This will be stressful for him and for you. If you don't set the rules, your dog will, and you may not like them! Your dog should be a relaxing companion, not an adversary, a boss or a burden.

Justin Davies has been involved with dogs and their training for over 20 years and writes dog training articles for www.best4dogtraining.com. For more information on training your dog, go to www.newdogtrainingmethods.info

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